Beaverton Historical Society
Gladwin County Obituary/Death Notice
William Mercer

   Bill, 90, went home to be with the Lord on March 4, 2007 from his home in Beaverton.

   As one of his pastors said, the nut has gone to be with Jesus, what you see here is just the shell, which will be returned to dust in the Dale Cemetery.

   The nut married a Burr, Bernice Arline Burr, on April 6, 1937 in Mt. Pleasant. They were married nearly 70 years He was born Feb. 15, 1917 to Vernon Chandler Mercer and Alta Mae Hull (Mercer) in Jewell, Ohio.

   From his marriage of 70 years was born three daughters, Judy Mae (Tim) Guest of Hudson, Vondale Jean (Mercer) Tanner and friend, Claude Bartholmew of Comins, and Terry Dianne (Hugh) Calhoon of Beaverton; and one son-in-law, Tim Tanner of Gladwin. The Mercers have 11 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren Bill also leaves behind one half brother, James Mercer of Beaverton; and five half sisters, Coralee Cassidy of Florida, Maryellen Brown of Midland, Dorothy Baldwin of Bay City, Dola Kleinhart of Clare, and Barbara Sharp of Florida.

   Bill was raised by his grandmother, Cora Molter, after the death of his mother in 1918 He graduated from Beaverton High School in 1934, where he excelled in athletics and played in the first high school band. He attended Central Michigan College for two years as a music student, where he played the clarinet in the band, directed the Apple Blossom Orchestra and sang in the choir.

   He hired in at Dow Chemical in Midland on Nov 11, 1936, where he helped start the first styrene plant and in 1941 helped start styrene plants in Torrence, California and Freeport, Texas. He came back to Midland in 1944 to be in charge of pilot plant instrumentation in the physics lab.

   He worked with Ormond Barstow in the development of new instrumentation and was instrumental in installing the first process computer in Dow Bill was elected to the Beaverton School Board in 1949 and the Mid Michigan Community College Board in 1965. He was on the Beaverton City Council for a short time and was on the Helping Hands Mission Board for many years. Bill was a 4-H leader for 30 years with the “Live Wires” electronics club Bill gave his life to Jesus at the age of seven and served Him for a lifetime. He taught Sunday School, was a youth leader, choir director and helped to build programs in many churches.

   After his retirement in 1975, he spent two winters in United Arab Emirates working in a mission hospital, repairing medical equipment. He built the first Habitat for Humanity house in Gladwin County and helped Homestead Tool computerize much of their equipment, including the building of a pultrusion machine, which he helped install in China.

   He leaves his precious wife, Bernice; three daughters; 11 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and seven greatgreat- grandchildren, all of whom he loved dearly. Bill was preceded in death by a grandson, Gary Dale Smith, in infancy; and by a great-granddaughter, Emmalynn Grace Natalie, in infancy. Also a granddaughter in an automobile accident in 1987, Amy Jo Guest, who he no doubt has his arms around right now; and one sister, Betty Jane Sutherland.

   Services are planned for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, 2007 at Beaverton Church of the Brethren with Pastors Arthur Smith, Randall Roose and John Glasscock officiating Burial is in Dale Cemetery.

   Arrangements were made by Sisson Funeral Home Memorials may be made to Youth Haven Ranch or Camp Barekel.

Personal Information
Death Date
Burial/Final Location
Dale Cemetery, Beaverton, MI
Publication Information
Pub. Date
Pub. Page
Gladwin County Record, Gladwin, MI
P:A2 C:?
Transcription Information
Transcribed by
Source Media
September 2009
Bob Frei
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